Non-league clubs looking forward to having fans attend games again

PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 August 2020

A jam-packed North Stand at The Optima Stadium. Picture: Will.T.Photography

A jam-packed North Stand at The Optima Stadium. Picture: Will.T.Photography

Archant

A limited numbers of fans at clubs in steps three to six of the National League System have been allowed to attend games once again.

The FA have announced all clubs must have a COVID-19 officer and must follow the two steps in place.

The first step, which runs from August 22 to August 30, must see the capacity of the ground must not exceed 15% and if a club must have played at least one pre-season or competitive fixture in accordance with their respective level of spectators before moving on to stage two.

And from August 31, stage two will see the capacity double to 30% within the updated guidelines.

However, they must be satisfied that they have been able to comply with the guidance of the Government.

“It’s great news, having our fans back will add so much and we can’t wait,” said Weston manager Scott Bartlett.

“We have pulled together through COVID-19 and the club and supporters have been fantastic.

“To have them back into our stadium and cheering us on away from home is brilliant and a welcome boast for everyone.

“We rely on them a lot, we want to entertain them and send them home happy on a wet Tuesday night or a Saturday afternoon.

“We work hard during the week to prepare for games. The first couple of games have been a novelty after such a long time away but that will soon wear off, so this news is huge.

“It’s important we are all in it together because without one or the other over a period of time football at these levels won’t survive.”

With The Seagulls having to set up fundraisers to help support the club during these uncertain times, Bartlett the support from each fans means a lot the club.

He added: “The pandemic has made people in general look at things differently, I certainly appreciate how well our club is run and I know our players and supporters appreciate that too.

“We have helped each other finiancially through various initiatives but it’s more than that.

“For some people football and being able to get to games is a huge release and a passion and I think the club and players have done well with our communication to supporters throughout the period.”

All levels of football came to a half in March after the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic and took four months before any game was played but behind closed doors.

And following a campaign, which used the slogan “#LetFansIn”, gained significant traction among non-league clubs as two petitions supporting the cause received more than 6,000 signatures.


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